B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

  • Dec. 12, 2018 9:45 a.m.

Rick Stiebel/News staff

A group of New Democractic Party members of parliament are demanding the federal government declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, as well Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called on the Trudeau government this week, urging it to commit significant new funding and resources to addressing the opioid crisis immediately.

READ MORE: Men account for highest number of deaths in opioid crisis

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

“Across Canada, too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis,” the group said in a news release. “From downtown neighbourhoods to our most remote areas, no community has been untouched by these highly addictive and dangerous drugs.”

READ MORE: NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Citing research by the Angus Reid Institute, the release said one in eight Canadians, or roughly 3.5 million people, have become dependent on opioids in the last five years alone.

Fewer than one in four Canadians believe that the federal government has responded appropriately, a statistic the NDP agrees with, he added.

B.C. has seen the brunt of overdose deaths in Canada, with 1,143 deaths between January and September of this year. The province makes up more than one-third of all overdose deaths in the country.

READ MORE: Two sons lost to the opioid crisis, a B.C. mother calls for change

“The Trudeau Liberals claim to be doing everything in their power to address the opioid crisis, and yet, that’s clearly not true,” the release said. “New Democrats have been calling for the declaration of a national public health emergency for over two years. It’s time for the Liberal government to act.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Chilliwack council supporting protests against racism

City calls for participants to be cautious of distancing and to wear masks due to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read